Kazakhstan Launches Production of Fuel for Nuclear Power Plants

10 November 2021
Kazakhstan Launches Production of Fuel for Nuclear Power Plants

On November 10, 2021, the official opening ceremony for the new Ulba Fuel Assembly plant, dedicated to the 30th Anniversary of Independence of the Republic of Kazakhstan, was held via teleconference from the Ulba Metallurgical Plant, Ust-Kamenogorsk, Republic of Kazakhstan. Top management from Samruk-Kazyna JSC, NAC Kazatomprom JSC, UMP JSC, China Atomic Energy Authority, China General Nuclear, Framatome, and the akimat of East Kazakhstan region attended the ceremony.

“The development of the nuclear industry is a strategic direction for the Fund. Our country is interested in the production and sales of uranium products of processing value, as well as higher value added products. Successful implementation of the Kazatomprom project with foreign partners ensured entry into the limited circle of states that supply nuclear fuel for nuclear power plants,” Almassadam Satkaliyev, Chief Executive Officer of Samruk-Kazyna stated in his speech.

Ulba-FA LLP is a Kazakhstani and Chinese joint venture; the founders are UMP JSC (a subsidiary of NAC Kazatomprom JSC) holding a 51% interest, and CGNPC-URC (a subsidiary of China General Nuclear Power Corporation), holding a 49% interest.

The plant was constructed using high-tech equipment manufactured in China, France and USA to manufacture fuel assemblies (“FA”), which are engineering for the generation of thermal power inside a nuclear reactor.  

 “Establishment of this innovative production will allow Kazakhstan to enter the small circle of states manufacturing and supplying nuclear fuel for nuclear power plants. The project is a great example of successful multilateral cooperation of global nuclear benchmark companies. The knowledge-intensive production opens up new opportunities for our country to further develop cooperation with other states in nuclear area,” stated Mazhit Sharipov, Chief Executive Officer of NAC Kazatomprom JSC.

The state-of-the-art technology of French company Framatome, one of the global leaders in fuel assembly manufacturing, was selected to be used for the Ulba-FA LLP plant.

A single FA consists of 264 fuel rods, which are long metal rods loaded with uranium fuel pellets, which are manufactured by the Ulba Metallurgical Plant. Therefore, in addition to its own new production, the new FA plant will also be using the pellet manufacturing capabilities of the Ulba Metallurgical Plant.

Ulba-FA LLP has obtained a Framatome certificate confirming that the plant is authorized and capable of manufacturing AFA 3GTM assemblies with a capacity of 200 tons of uranium per year. Moreover, all requirements of CGNPC-URC, the guaranteed purchaser of the fuel assemblies, have been met, and the plant has obtained the status of being a certified supplier for the Chinese nuclear industry.

According to Sergey Bezhetskiy, Ulba Metallurgical Plant JSC Executive Board Chairman, the collaboration between NAC Kazatomprom JSC and international partners means Kazakhstan has become a supplier of an integrated service package. The project provides positive economic and social benefits for both the industry and for the country overall. 

CGNPC has been cooperating with NAC Kazatomprom JSC in the area of uranium mining, natural uranium sales, and pellet fabrication since 2006. The implementation of this joint fuel project propels the level of the partnership to a new historic high.

For further information, please contact:

Kazatomprom Investor Relations Inquiries

Cory Kos, Director of Investor Relations

Tel: +7 (8) 7172 45 81 80

Email: ir@kazatomprom.kz

Kazatomprom Public Relations and Media Inquiries

Torgyn Mukayeva, Chief Expert of GR & PR Department

Tel: +7 (8) 7172 45 80 63

Email: pr@kazatomprom.kz

About Kazatomprom

Kazatomprom is the world's largest producer of uranium, with the Company’s attributable production representing approximately 23% of global primary uranium production in 2020. The Group benefits from the largest reserve base in the industry and operates, through its subsidiaries, JVs and Associates, 26 deposits grouped into 14 mining assets. All of the Company’s mining operations are located in Kazakhstan and extract uranium using ISR technology with a focus on maintaining industry-leading health, safety and environment standards.

Kazatomprom securities are listed on the London Stock Exchange, Astana International Exchange, and Kazakhstan Stock Exchange. As the national atomic company in the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Group's primary customers are operators of nuclear generation capacity, and the principal export markets for the Group's products are China, South and Eastern Asia, Europe and North America. The Group sells uranium and uranium products under long-term contracts, short-term contracts, as well as in the spot market, directly from its headquarters in Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan, and through its Switzerland-based trading subsidiary, Trade House KazakAtom AG (THK).

For more information, please see the Company website at http://www.kazatomprom.kz

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